KARL Oyston is close to sealing a deal to keep Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Keith Southern, bumping up their wages and tying them down on longer-term deals.
The pair had their pay slashed after relegation from the top flight, but while nearly everyone else has had their terms improved in the last few months, Taylor-Fletcher and Southern missed out.
It caused a bit of upset going into the new season, and raised the possibility that the unhappy pair might leave.
But now new deals are close to being agreed – much to Ian Holloway’s relief.
Ahead of today’s clash at Brighton, the boss revealed: “There has been movement regards new contracts for Taylor-Fletcher and Southern.
“I have spoken to the chairman about it and I hope he is doing it.
“It is about trying to secure good players for the future and those two are good players.
“I think they have been our best two this season so far. That’s where we’re up to.
“The problem was that they have gone back to where they used to be in terms of wages, and compared to other Championship players – who haven’t been part of getting a club promoted – they aren’t on much.
“Is that fair when we’ve £90m in the bank?
“They’ve already done well, they want rewarding, and I think they should be. So does the chairman.
“But getting to the point where everybody agrees what those figures are is not easy at this club.
“Sometimes things take a lifetime, which can be a tad frustrating.
“It is just the way it is.
“I’d rather be careful and cautious, rather than be reckless and lose everything we’ve got – which is good team spirit, good lads, and an honest hard-working attitude.
“What you’ve got to be careful of is that some of those who have been rewarded aren’t playing as well.
“So maybe my chairman is right.
“He says: ‘If you give people better money, they’ll sometimes sit and rest on their laurels’.
“Look at the ones who are fighting for a better deal and look at how well they are playing, because Taylor-Fletcher and Southern have been great.”
Holloway then, slightly mysteriously, added: “I only work with him (Oyston).